Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kerry Trapped, and His Not-So-Clean Getaway

So our winemaker, God love him, is a funny guy.  It was ’09, and we were working on the blend of Sauvignon Blanc.  Eight hours of tasting, which to most sounds like fun (and I won’t lie, it is), is still exhausting.  On the 3rd day of blending, by the time the final blend was decided and the rest of us left, Kerry was determined to finish everything.  He stayed behind to document all the specs of blend, the percentages and clonal selections, barrels and what not.  In his dedicated state, he stayed in the lab to work, oblivious to the world outside the lab, even the part of the world that was still on-property, just on the other side of his lab’s door.  Well, with the motion sensors on and the alarm set, Kerry set it off, but ‘dedicated Kerry’ didn’t hear it.  Kerry had no idea, and I told him the sheriffs had been dispatched.  They were on their way and it was too late to call them off.
I called him and asked where he was, he said “I’m finishing wine notes.” Telling him the police were on their way, he didn’t know what to do.  “Should I offer them a glass of wine?” he asked.  I disagreed of course and told him to stay put, but Kerry in his usually-crazy winemaker mode told me he didn’t have an ID on him, nor did he have any keys to the building.  There’d be no way for anyone to know that he worked at Dutcher Crossing.
Kerry had to get out of the lab, he knew.  And quick.  So, he hopped in his Volvo, drove the back dirt path to the estate house, and joined me for a Scotch.  I think he may have had two.  I swear, I can still hear his voice when I called him to ask if he heard the alarm going off.  “No,” he said, simply.  That’s one of the funniest parts of the story to me, Kerry having NO CLUE what was going on.  
This is just what makes Dutcher Crossing a story to itself.  Just one of those odd things that happens, and when it happens you can’t believe it’s happening.  Not just my story, but the ones we share with everyone who visits.  Life as a vintner is full of the same silly set of moments that every other profession’s is.  This is the first memory I’m sharing, not because it involves our winemaker (although it was funny to watch him speed toward the estate house in his old Volvo), but because it’s life.  This stuff happens.  And, it’s even funnier when it happens at a winery.  

Why is it funnier at a winery?  I don’t know.  I guess just the way it happened.  The get-away aspect definitely adds to it.  And just that our winemaker was locked in, and how oblivious he was to it all, the significance of what was happening.  He had NO clue! 

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